The Rig





Paul Asay

TV Series Review

Working on an oil rig isn’t easy to begin with. You’re on a platform in the middle of a roiling sea. More often than not, it’s cold and rainy. You’re cooped up with a bunch of crew members (some of whom you might not like that much) for days or weeks at a time. Add that to the dangerous chemicals and high catwalks and slippery platforms, and you’ve got yourself one of the most dangerous jobs around.

Add in some supernatural fog, and you’ve got yourself some real problems.

High Pressure System

Granted, this is not a problem that most oil rigs have to deal with. Fog? Yes. Supernatural fog? Not so much.

But the hardy crew working on the Kinloch Bravo—a rig standing in the heart of the North Sea—experiences just such a truly weird weather pattern. One minute it’s business as usual. The next, everyone’s walking around in mist almost thicker than the oil they’re drilling for.

That’s not the only problem that rolled in with the fog. All communication with the outside world has been cut off, too: no way to call for help, no way to learn what’s going on. Most of the oil rigs around them have shut down. Oh, and the underwater tremors that are shaking the rig are literally unsettling.

And then there’s Baz, the young worker who fell from a tower the equivalent of several stories up when the fog first rolled in. Cat, the rig’s medic, knew Baz wouldn’t survive long without some serious hospital care. And yet here he is—alive and walking. Good news, it would seem. But is it?

Magnus McMillan, the crew’s leader, doesn’t like the fog and all these strange happenings. Not one bit. It’s his job to keep the crew safe, after all. And the fog, combined with all his scared, angry and cooped-up employees, won’t help worker morale one bit. If the fog doesn’t do them in, Magnus worries, they just might start killing each other.

Rose Mason, a representative for the rig’s corporate muckety-mucks, is a little worried about the fog, too. But she might be even more worried about keeping the oil flowing. She’s got quotas to meet and an accelerating career to manage, and delays won’t do either much good.

Course, if the fog swallows Rose and the rest of the rig whole, that’s not particularly great for career advancement, either.

Mist the Mark

The Rig, an original series from Prime Video, serves as both a psychological and supernatural drama. Sure, there’s something mysterious at work in the milk-thick mist. But the tensions on the rig aren’t so mysterious. With no way to call for help and no one apparently coming, the platform’s scared, angry characters get scareder and angrier. Is all the bad behavior fueled by whatever’s at work in the mist? Or is that just an excuse—a fog itself that covers over the workers’ own base instincts?

One thing’s for sure: The show’s makers have little excuse for the content we see and the language we hear.

We see far more blood than oil aboard the Kinloch Bravo—sometimes splashing against walls, sometimes squirting from open wounds. And the language can be as extreme as a North Sea storm, blustering with f- and s-words. There’s even a touch of romance on the rig: Two main characters share more than deck space with each other, and one lesbian worker longs to reunite with her wife back home.

Episode Reviews

Jan. 6, 2023 — S1, Ep1: “Episode One”

It looks like another typical day at the office for the crew aboard the Kinloch Bravo. But soon it seems anything but. First the power flickers off. Outside communications go dark. The platform begins to shake—and while it feels like an earthquake, no one knows for sure. And then, looking almost like an avalanche thundering across the sea, the fog sweeps over the rig, and things start to get really weird.

A worker, Baz, falls off a tower shortly after the fog comes. We see the man land on the deck, his body bloodied and mangled. A medic treats him but can do little more than patch his wounds (which ooze and even squirt blood). Most of his injuries are internal, the medic says, and she’s not qualified to operate.

Baz later experiences what seems to be a supernatural vision that jolts him into temporary consciousness. Later, he walks out of the medical facilities and onto the upper deck—either fully or mostly naked. (Most of his body is in shadow, but we do see he’s at the very least not wearing a shirt.) A man and a woman kiss. A woman calls her wife back home, and they exchange blown kisses.

An angry older worker grabs a female medic by the shoulders: The medic answers back with an attack of her own, punching and knocking him over. One man brusquely grabs another on a tower. A bird—still living—lies on a tower, gasping for breath it seems. Another bird startles a man, who nearly falls off a tower. (A safety clip saves him.)

Characters say the f-word some 17 times, the s-word eight times and the c-word once. We also hear “d–n,” “h—,” “crap,” “p-ss” and three abuses of Jesus’ name.

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Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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